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Destination wedding invitations differ from traditional wedding invitations in a couple of ways. Generally, they are more casual. They can also be designed to reflect the theme of the wedding, be it tropical, big city, or exotic.
Destination wedding invitations are generally sent in two stages. About four to six months prior to the wedding, it's wise and polite to send casual, "Save the Date," notices. Destination weddings require that your guests take time off of work and away from other responsibilities as well as spend a considerable amount of money to be part of your big day. It's good to give them as much notice as possible. Nearer to the event, you can follow-up with a more formal invitation, if desired.
Couples opting for a destination wedding will find that there are dozens of people that they would like to have at their wedding, but who can't take the time or who don't have the money to travel to the wedding destination. To make sure that these friends and family are aware of your wedding, it's customary to send wedding announcement cards after the event. Announcements, unlike wedding invitations, are not seen as a call for gifts.